Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Alexander 6, V26.

After working on typing the whole thing yesterday, now, and thanks for the auto-save option in Blogger, I've lost everything by a wrong keystroke that deleted my whole post. All of that was to set on an Amazon Associates account. My aim is not to get money via Amazon really, as I barely find people to read this blog anyway, but it would be helpful to have the search bar on the right and just put the image directly into the blog editor instead of opening a new window for this task. Well, I can use images of lens as well!
Here I go writing up what was deleted, or some of it as much as I can remember.

I brought the camera to my work place yesterday as I wanted to take some pictures of a device, to put it up with the text I'm writing for a friend about radiation measuring devices and such, but by almost the end of the day and before 30 minutes of going out from the work place, I felt the urge to snap some images for the building I work in, again. But this time, I was to use the 15mm Fisheye lens, and it proved very helpful, or should I say extremely helpful!

The old panorama that I made for this building was, well, awkward if I should say in many aspect, but yet lot of people liked it and it was given to the German Ambassador as a gift! Yet, I've found out some stitching mistakes that I didn't notice before at all in that old panorama, and people barely notice that before of the relatively small size of the image.

The old panorama for my work place. Check the larger version by clicking on the image and notice the first pillar from the left (top part) and the first square on the roof on the right side of the building (from the left). These were stitching errors. Also The front of the building is taken off a bit, and the vertical lines are not supposedly, vertical, and that made removing the building on the far right a difficult task. The image itself is also somehow, too much elongated I presume.

In this old panorama, which I assembled by my EF-S 18-55mm lens. Almost, as far as I remember, I needed 20 angles or more to take up for the whole building in 2 rows, and that was in portrait position as well. 

Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR Lens
EF-S 18-55mm

 Now with my Fisheye everything had changed, and even in the stitching process. It took only 5 angles in portrait position to take up for the whole building, and in stitching process there was a bit more creativity and guess what? The optimization in PTGui itself was more friendly to my necessities and showed "Very Good" sign even!
By the stitching process, I worked out 2 versions for the new panorama. The first one was keeping a straight look to the building and giving a sense of spaceous surrounding, while the truth is, actually, I barely had a stand in front of the building because of all the junk behind me. Not only that, but also, any slight movement or change in position was to block my view, and hence, the camera as well.

Rectangular and straight new panorama.

 There had been a problem in stitching as well but they were not as serious as the previous one. It is the same square on the roof that keep on breaking... I wonder if he has something against me or so!
Anyway, the good part is that the vertical lines are kept vertical and still, and the building part on the far right was removed. The bad story here is that, and because of the stretching to make the panorama straight, the 2 green pillars on the far left were stretched as well, giving unpleasant look, but maybe in a small size they do well? The reason for this is that, as I think, because I was not standing exactly in the middle point of the building but rather in front of the door (which is not exactly in the middle) and that makes these pillars far away and hence more curved originally (vanishing point concept?), which makes them stretch in a hard way when straightened. This is one point to bear in mind next time - Always try to take a middle point in such cases.
The sun glare was also stretched along with the image here, making bigger than the original spots. But that I think is left for the viewer, maybe some of them think the glare is nice while others like the image to be glare-less. 

The second case or version of the same panorama and the same collection of images of course, was to keep the fisheye look as the old one but this time, we have a more elegant look, and compact space with vertical lines being vertical indeed and removing the bits of that annoying building on the right;

Fisheye look panorama.

The fisheye look is my favorite for wide buildings if I should say, and specially when the horizontal lines are curved, but the vertical lines are kept straight.
Personally, I underetimated the importance of keeping the vertical lines as vertical when taking photos of buildings. This was one of the tips that I've learned in Adrian Schulz's book, "Architecture Photography".

Architectural Photography: Composition, Capture, and Digital Image Processing 

I did wonder all the time what is the importance of keeping the vertical lines as vertical, and why shouldn't we have more like, fanciful looks for the buildings in photographs or so, but seems elegance has its own ways. I do now prefer to try hard to keep my vertical lines vertical indeed, whenever possible.

The new panoramas were all prepared in HDR and then tone-mapped in Photomatix (seriously, I don't the time to play around with manual tone-mapping now). The looks on the web is not really what I did see on my monitor when I was preparing these images, because I was using the ProPhoto color space (gamut). For people who do not know, it might be useful to read the Wikipedia article here. It is a color space founded by Kodak. You can think of the "color space" or "gamut" as to be, "how much colors I'm allowed to use in here?". The original panoramas had this turquoise look and splashes of green and blue intermixed, but I think it all goes back to sRGB color space (standard RGB) when the pictures are uploaded. I don't have much experience on what is allowed where when it comes to color spaces, but a ProPhoto color space is something huge and I think it gives more freedom when it comes to color picking and creative venturing. In fact, many stock sites advise the uploaders to make sure that their images are in sRGB format, because it is the most common, but I do hope a change comes on the way, because such colors are amazing. We would end up having the same problems of preparing and adjusting the colors from RGB to CMYK just before the final print comes out. It is a non-pleasant experience according to what I've done so far.

By coincidence, and as I was roaming the net looking for stuff to fill my junk yard with, I came across a software that seems it would fit my needs when it comes to viewing HDR files (Radiance and OpenEXR). It's called Panorado, and although the name looks it is specific for panoramic purposes, but in the description it mentions that it can view the HDR and EXR files, and this is my main aim. It has nice features mentioned as well, like viewing a panorama in 360 degrees, but of course I didn't try it so far, so I cannot tell. However, my main purpose would be to view HDR files (Radiance or OpenEXR) without the need of opening up Photoshop to do so. It costs $29.95. I think it is fair enough with multi-tasker of a program!

Now all what you've read so far was actually the product that I wrote mostly yesterday to be posted today, so now imagine I'm re-typing all of that now. When I had the time to do that? Well, after coming from the garage. I really discovered there is a new meaning for the word "Garage" actually by this visit to that place. "Garage" can also mean "torture". Supposedly the weather is still spring and I felt my brain cooked in the sun waiting in that queue line for more than one hour, just to get my brakes in merely 10 minutes. Very nice.

Recently, I've been feeling a bit sorry after reading the latest entry in Jonathan Boakes' Blog, about selling a cottage. This cottage was part of one of the most brilliant games I've ever played, which was designed mainly by Jonathan himself of course - The Lost Crown: A Ghosthunting Adventure.

The Lost Crown: A Ghosthunting Adventure

 The cottage in the game itself gives a calm atmosphere (in daytime scenes!), and when I see it now in real in photographs, I still keep on that opinion about it. The situation reminded me somehow of Failaka island and how it became such a deserted place by now, although it has some potential of being a resort or anything, along with the other islands like Miskan (which is said to have still a lighthouse built by the British soldiers back in 1918).

Some deserted places in Failaka island, which was greatly depopulated during/after the war in 1990.

Although I hope to see some life come to such places, but I also do not wish to see it condensed like a city. I always hold the belief that an island, should remain an island; some isolate place away from the troubles in the city.
601. while the men of Beten Yamta went to Ázúf
602. Alexander remained in his place preparing for his journey
603. and the last memories of Ázilis sparked his mind
604. then he remembered how Ázilis pointed to Charnagút
605. and he was wondering for the reasons of this point
606. but Ázilis did not say anything about Charnagút
607. although he was pointing to it during his speech
608. Alexander knew there is something hidden and some secrets
609. all might be clear when he reaches the appointed lands
610. just before the next full moon of Shaieb
611. then the hero went out of the tribe place to the desert
612. and to the south he traveled away for days
613. all the way he was feeling someone is following him
614. between the dunes and the mounts and hills
615. but he never noticed anyone, and thought its only an imagination
616. for the heat of the desert can make false images to the minds
617. some days the hero spent in the desert passing through ruins
618. and wondering where the promised land could be
619. until he reached the coasts of the Great Lake
620. the largest lake in Daynur and in the middle of lands
621. and Alexander walked along its western coast going south
622. without any rest either in day or night time
623. because the night of the full moon is approaching
624. and he must be in between the two waters

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